Sunday, 2 June 2013

Resume Regular Transmission: Game Log


photo: Baddog Whiskas

stencil wall im supposed to be working on
(weather and knees permitting)

Four clubs in two days in Sydney


Anyway I have vented for year, save next time if i make 60 000 hits. Apologies to person who un-subscribed me for giving my off the cuff opinions while feeling cranky. I vow to be kinder for a while and go troll some racists next time i feel in pain not my peers.

For last 5 years i just imported players from my home state and made new gamers. My Urchin books monthly oldschool gamers group was one such effort. Now ive decided to mix with local community and get over being a grump. So went to two clubs.

Spent Sat at gamers get together held at new venue the nerd Cave. Good day. Came in at end of three games. Diverse crowd of smart people was nice to hang with. Pathfinder and eclipse phaze being played. Met lots of awesome players including scientists, an ex navy man turned strange magician and many more. One guy kinda kept talking at everyone when we all expressed disinterest and walked away, but on whole nicest bunch i have met in years. I actually have to shut up and mind my mouth as plenty of smart people about to call me out on my usual bullshit. After we went to pub and talked for 5 hours. A good pendragon conversation and we discussed a session next time, Actually Id forgotten Pendragon and pretty much like every version. Im not about to run a 75 year 3 generation game in a hurry but i will try to play later this year. Offered to game for problem teens in libraries for 6 monthly games for warcraft rehab scheme to get online gamer teens socialising more. Lots of players looking for games, including dads looking for a family free rest night a week.

Yes edition issue crept up. Nobody played pre 3.5 ed and looked like I just stepped out of time machine. I can get that the scientific gamers like to stick to what they know so they can minmax effectively. Some enjoy every stackable +, like a story gamer might enjoy getting a new pony with a white star on his rump. Cthulhu probably my most viable game and despite what ive said still not much has changed (which I guess is good). If Im dumb enough to run another game at least i have a good stack of adventures I know so not much prep needed.

Event in Nerdcave - venue mostly free but can use extra stuff like computers, paints, terrain, etc for various types of games. Will let me aerosol walls - lotsa fan fantasy art panels, painted sk8 decks, aerosol pieces and aerosol toons. I knew I wasn't only spray can gamer i  town. I might help them deal with City of Sydney for events.

After Urchin game went to Meridian a local club with 3 rpg games  and two tables of 40k wargames in progress. Id consider 40k rpg but the chaos marine probably least appealing to me. I dont like playing vampires much either (while im losing people i don't like every culture thing with star trek on it ever made either, sorry). Watching battles was great and i watch on TV if i could. Tau vs Tyranid (swarm - retreat - shoot) and grey knight vs chaos marines with bat wings. Both tables players were experimenting with recent edition changes and they accepted these changes good naturedly and stoically. Inter player consistency probably more important in wargames. I hadn't played for 20 years but i could keep up conversation better than with DnD gamers strangely. 3 people with my name at club, hasn't happened in 20 years. A great weekend but now onto the main event of weekend....

While I teach art for all sorts of orgs from kids in detention centres, aboriginal kids, kids on parole and get paid well for it, i am willing to help spread gaming in my spare time. Same org running games donating books to youth centres and libraries. I suggested I could engineer payment for DMs (even some vouchers or money could buy more books for donation), because I know the same orgs pay me to do art and in Sydney there is money. Organiser didn't seem to keen at my suggestion but its his show. There has been another such program in Sydney too. I wonder If i could slip into my art programs i teach if it would be good or bad thing. Ill ask some youth workers and librarian gamers who face the issue as I don't want to lose work over being a supposed satanist from a Jack Chick. comic. Still it is a hobby and not my job and Im happy to game for needy kids. My health isn't up to art commissions still - two clients waiting for me. Art pays well but physically demanding and stressful.

EXILE ISLAND GROUP 2

New party of first time fantasy game players. Weather was horrible but only 3 players was good for intro game (3 others away but in my Tuesday game now). Some extras called in apologies and will come next time.

Used my red brick book of tables and one of Vault of ages sideways dungeon tectonics map to ad lib everything on fly as play test. I learned a layed out version needed. From character generation NWP the biggest bottleneck so will write a basic list and a expert list. Dwarf player a good test and theoretically gross and should please dwarf fans. His biggest flaw is movement of 9 for a base. Bard may need a little tweak still - one free instrument sing or poetry NWP probably do it. I was impressed first time players picked up classes.

Matt2 (a different one) plays Kanye a bard from the far Eastern Empire playing a oud (kinda a middle eastern lute).  Has some good skills including interrogate, disguise, run away (speed bonus if fleeing), escapology, appraise and treasure lore. Very bardy indeed. He uses cleric spells, short spear and shuriken. Has his own roadie, Angry a tattooed porter with a club who manages Kanye's donkey cart and has (gasp) 13 STR.

Rachael plays Drusella a Druid from the wilds looking for adventure. She has a pet guard dog named king and can speak dog and Old way Tongue. Uses a staff and bronze shortsword. Herbalist, healer and animal expert. King is a smart enough dog to not bark but if he detects danger. Very good at detecting noise and being aware of area. She is pretty gung ho but not in a fight.

Sam plays Branningar the Dwarf. A 4foot wall of mucle and chain mail with the usual dwarfy weapon package and an expert with Axe and skilled brawler. A tracker, weaponsmith and dwarf lore master. Also can improvise weapons from crap if needed. When fighting a goblinoid all up he gets +2 to hit and +4 damage yet he didnt hit (or grt hurt once). His pet Thor the battleboar earns his keep as a stud pig and is still only a teen boar. They come from a mile deep citadel with all the dwarfy dwarfness a dwarf citadel can dwarf.

Various event have brought the gang to the the village of Baconville, a small crossroads of 40 people living far from civilisation. Grow wheat, turnips and pigs. One local shop for local people. A blacksmith who disliked the dwarf and charges premium prices (professional jealousy). A shrine of the wine-dream-underworld goddess who offered to question dead prisoners and heal party if needed. The bard able to earn cash as entertainer, the dwarf rents out his pig and druid eats bark and berries and happy to live in a hedge. Party only have ten or so gold each and need cash to keep going.

Picked up rumours the dwarf knew to be untrue, dungeon thousands of years older than the warlord who built new layer only a thousand years ago. Stories of stolen turnips and bite marks in pigs. Heard of last four parties over ten years. Last one missing, two escaped and never returned and one came back with a fortune (that was 10 years ago). Branningar tried to recruit the veteran F2 baliff and his militia grade son and nephew the beadles. Brannigar wanted too much but one son willing to follow for cash. The family warned the party they expect Gregory the beadle to return and his goods and pay and body to come back at worst. Priest and Balif suggested they might be recruitable later.

Down  the road to the man made hill saw giant chalk goblin signs cut in turf. Entered the tunnels, beams supporting dirt and rubble.  Through a hall, past murder holes and arrow slits (a bit tense) came across a dung heap King was wary of. Dwarf splashed oil on it and a evil little face of a giant bug gleamed at him. Dwarf throws torch and bug flees squeaking. Found old rotting barracks but ignored in favour of office with remains of dungeon supply requisitions. Branningar looked down well and saw a giant mushroom which started screaming and quivering. But the bard stepped in and used his morale boosting song to calm it which was such a cool bard thing to do i let him.

Did attract a goblin (better than whole level) with five pale and point faces near hairless goblin dogs. The party prepared an ambush and the dwarf put a goblin trap from village shop under some straw and dung in corridors. A goblin dog was instantly killed and while the critters and his master were in horror the party poured out from doorways. Bard shuriken nicked several dogs, Brannigar swung about hitting nothing and drawing attacks which missed. Druid and bard were nipped and the boar horribly crushed and started eating a dog alive. King knocked the goblin down and tore its throat. The dogs tried to flee and only one escaped alive. Loaded up dead dogs onto the bards little donkey cart and the party followers remarked on tonight's BBQ. Healing successful enough to move on.

Tunnel opened into a huge 200x200 room with 9 cells and dozens of different doors. Many doors pine with latches, some solid oak and noisy to break, with locks. Before entering main room Druid cast detect animal and went into a sealed door looking for possibly the goblin dog to find a trapped 4 foot wide purple toad locked up by goblins. She cast speak animals and fed it a dog. It agreed o follow her a bit and menace goblins.

Dwarf could see beyond light range and saw two prisoners, one begged for help, other i n robes stood up. Ragnalgar introduced himself and begged for help (saw a help message scrawled from him earlier on wall). The bard recruited him as a follower, pointing out he owed his life. Unsure of his alignment (he he). Began searching doors and found some of following things. Other guy didn't talk and they noticed was dead still and silent. Angy chucked a dog head in the  cell with him and he got on all fours for a chew. Some kind of rotting undead. Ew!

Found a secret panel with a +1 dagger with snake head pommel and fast draw built in a secret one way door hiding space with a skeleton with worn finger bones

Another secret closet with manacled skeleton

Remains of an imprisoned scribe copying dungeon forms

A gold plated lamp in a chest with a baby kobold on top and a bear trap underneath

Shortsword with 60ft light and ancient inscriptions "light bringer - prince Sezallgar" in a chest

Store room of tools and and junk

A kobold nest with quivering mothers who they mostly ignored and a statue of ancient warlord who built level

A room with a collection of severed heads pickled in jars as food and stuffed and mounted on walls. King the dog went in warily followed by druid. Bugbear with a garrote tried to ambush and failed and party commenced beating him to pulp, Angry the porter and the dog finishing him fast. Begged for mercy as party pounded away after his ambush failed so badly

A sealing room trap with spider swarm. Bard looked for emergency escape. Bard found hidden and they escaped with only a few hundred spiders in room

Room of giant tadpoles where they left the toad

Goblin fungi gardens, one with puffballs and another with mild healing shrooms

A room of ledger books of dungeon accounts, payrolls and safety policy manuals

A strange alien metal door that opened to a gate when mechanism switched, otherwise a room with a well which could be used to enter a lower level

Giant woodlice (eaten by toad) in room full of rotting crates

Too many other traps to mention

About 8 solid oak doors with steel locks that Dwarf could not open without noise and time

Goblin shrine with some offerings they piously robbed and smashed

Watched by goblin scout wolf rider but dwarf got him - his only hit roll in game (but with chain and shield nobody touched him either

Ex villager who was used by goblins as mushroom tester, now a mongrel man with lobster claw and patches of fur and hump, actually huge guy, found crying wanted help

A flashier statue in a shrine with semi precious stones for eyes. Threw dead dog on pressure plate and a grey ray bathed room,nobody hit (??? a fear ray)

Weirdest thing was a kobold-demon chained in  pentacle with ankles on floor and wrists on ceiling. Swore in  demon tongue and had a cavity carved in chest with a small gold casket stuck in him, Party killed him with cold iron mallets from store room and magic dagger. Bard suggested they buy or make holy water next time

Party escaped laden with goods in waggon and backpacks

Back in village party were shouted drinks, the bard hoisted onto villager shoulders then onto the bar where he regaled them with part tale of adventure. Party offered shack (Granny Gin disappeared). Hundreds of gold of crap and a a few hundred mixed coins. The gold demon chest had 3 locks and a poison needle trap. Inside was a box with...shiny lizard skin red boots that changed size when feet nearby. Took to priest who identified as +20% jumping distance. With the dwarf this would still be sub normal.

Mongrel man might hang about village. Gutted the middle of the 1st level. Kobold women that Dwarf spoke to mentioned tob level a shambles and goblins live in second. Top mostly minimum security prison with kobold maintained traps. How kobold women lay ostrich sized eggs is a mystery nobody want to see solved. Found two ways down and those oaken un-breached doors might need a battering.

30+ rooms in 5 hours. Mostly traps ticks and weirdness but impressive. I saw game with 4 rooms in  same time other day so good pace for noobs.  All enjoyed and keen for next session. Found a few players didn't include common for free so suddenly may understand goblin.

SYSTEM ADD ON IDEAS

Free Bard instrument NWP makes me feel a little better. Thinking of amending level bonus for skills so rogues get biggest. Possibly higher for sticking with class skills instead of cross training. Basic and Expert NWP list is a must for players. Gotta stop my system bloat.

Still unsure of Paladins, Rangers and Barbarians. My warrior gen and alignment fanatic rules can totally create a warrior that can do most of these things and more. Alchemist in Dragon might be possible too. Specialist magician with potions, incendiaries, gunpowder and replace spell making with potions but would need thinking about how. Perhaps class of short shelf life potions last only 24 hrs, create all you can in 8 hours feverish lab session. High level reagent potions stabilise low level potions longer or recondition a dead potion. Learn new recipes from books or lab work from found potions. Glaantri book had good magic rules for BX DnD too.

As my B/X+NWP game uses race=class races could be better way to go. Also handy for upcoming Psychon game (I think modern players will dig - dont mention system till i sit em down). Some Race based classes i have considered: beastman, animal (talking kind), spirit animal (like oriental adventures) but all three at once might be too much, depends on world i guess. Could just do beast men as my orcs. Human Lore might be a good NWP.

Also considered save when casting spell or get a side FX - mostly annoying and cosmetic - NWP to minimise visible FX would help a bit or perhaps can mutate with higher level or could sacrifice something like a chicken for 1st level spell. Could also be alternative to using components for sorcery. Dr Strange had evil magic do this.

I Need to start laying this out for play in in-design for play and my use. Some more editing as incongruities crept in system. Basic and Expert character set a must. Include typical build to 10th level as well as example kits. Recently got idea of taboos for some classes - a new one per level - make barbarian seem dumb really cultural. WuJen in oriental adventures ADnD did sorta this.

That could be 3months of blogs just there.



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